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People are preferring to engage with high quality but short duration content: Natak Pictures Founder Short Films

People are preferring to engage with high quality but short duration content: Natak Pictures Founder

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Oct 2022, 11:43 am

IBNS Correspondent Nitin Waghela interacts with Natak Pictures Founder and CCO Rahul Bhatnagar to understand the realm of short films, and the role that OTT plays in current times.


What are the kinds of projects Natak Pictures is working on ? What is the role of OTT platforms in today's times?

Currently, a lot is in the pipeline for Natak Pictures. We recently wrapped up our mini web-series, ‘UNSORTED’ starring Mugdha Agarwal, Vikram Bhui and Tanya Singh Bhatnagar.

The story revolves around the challenges an ordinary individual faces while trying to strike a balance between personal and professional life, and how eventually in the compulsion of not being able to express transparently, one loses from both ends.

Will the show go live on an OTT platform and stream on the Natak Pictures YouTube channel?

We cannot negate the inclusiveness OTT platforms have to offer today. The content streaming on such platforms caters to all kinds of audiences across all age groups and genders. Today, we are not looking out for metro stories alone but also weaving tales from the lives of people in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well

Most of the Natak creations, such as Kati Patang and Stuck  are already streaming on Hotstar, MX Player and Shorts TV.

Stuck is one of your recent short film ventures, help us understand how you came across the idea?

It was Rishabh Tripathi who introduced me to the concept of Stuck. Eventually, he only wrote and directed the film.

The thriller concept came to him two years ago when we were majorly inclined towards marriage-oriented content. Of course, it did seem extremely unconventional and different from our past body of work. However, we immediately decided to go ahead with it.

The only challenge was to give a worthy climax and deliver the story with a meaningful ending. We knew it was an attempt which had not been made by any of us or any other YouTube channel for that matter.

Hence, it was important to construct a well-structured narrative before going ahead with the production.

Needless to say, it took time as we discussed numerous twists and turns across varying genres.

Share one of your favourite backstage moments.

The first film set where I worked was as an 19 year-old Assistant Director for the film 'Do Dooni Chaar'. The experience was not just exciting and surreal but also one of the major sources of learning as a filmmaker.

I still remember how tired we were after shooting this one particular sequence. As we reached the lunch break, we decided to enjoy this much awaited India match to relieve some stress.

While the entire crew was watching the match together, Rishi Kapoor could not watch it in his vanity van due to a technical glitch.

He witnessed us enjoying the match and joined the entire team along with Neetu Kapoor. It was overwhelming to experience such humbleness coming from a star as big as him.

It was and still one of the most memorable moments for us as an entire team

Where has Natak Pictures set its sight on and how does it plan on achieving it ?

Our idea is to garner audience's love organically through content pieces which are unique and quirky, yet relatable and family friendly

Natak Pictures expertise lies in weaving magic from the mundane and that's exactly what has helped us garner over 70 million organic watch time within a short span on YouTube.

Now, after all the warmth we have received from our audience, our ultimate goal is to widen our horizons by experimenting with diverse genres for all types of age groups and film lovers.

The only way to achieve this is to be able to stand out from the conventional web of storytelling and deliver the unexpected to keep audiences on a quest for Natak Pictures upcoming projects. This was our primary approach in creating Stuck.

Is there a wider commercial future for short films and how ready is the mainstream audience for it ?

In the past three years, industry has witnessed a stark growth in short-format content. People are preferring to engage with content that's high in quality and impactful yet brief in duration.

Being a filmmaker, I understand the challenges of delivering a high on content story in a short time frame.

Today, the audience is no more just a passive entity but has now become selective about its choices unlike before.

The stereotypical belief about mainstream audiences watching big budget films for popular faces proves to be a facade now.

Audiences are willing to experiment across all genres and formats.

Hence, I think it's high time we acknowledge the needs of our audience as a content consumer and realise that they are as active as anybody within the business.

How does one manage the funds in the early stages for a short film?

While creativity is not subject to commercial viability, it is extremely important for a producer to maintain a strategic approach while allocating funds for any project. Considering this, I do set a parameter and would prefer to produce an impactful piece of creation within the same.

We pitch our stories to not just the actors but also the people who work behind the camera as it is important for the entire team to align itself with the vision first.

There have been instances where the entire cast and crew had become so passionate about the story, that monetary terms had taken a backseat in the pre-production stage.

One of the most classic examples of the same is Chodh Pakad, which garnered four million views on YouTube.

Hence, for us at Natak, management of funds is strategized by keeping in mind the creative factors involved in making a project.

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